One of the big items of this year's E3 is, of course, Microsoft's Xbox 360 - and thus it was the focus of our first few hours on the show floor.

Given that the Xbox 360 is supposed to launch and be available by the end of this year, we expected to see a pretty large showing of it at this year's E3. Don't be mistaken, the vast majority of this year's show focused on currently available consoles - the original Xbox, Playstation 2, Gamecube and a plethora of mobile gaming platforms, but there were hints of the new console spread out throughout the show.

Basically at every booth where there was a long line, you could either expect to see a Xbox 360 demo or someone was giving away free stuff.

Xbox 360 - The Controller
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  • Eug - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    What was the black thing to the left of the G5 Power Macs? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    Son of a N00b

    There is clearly hardware running, as ATI had a console at their booth (and more behind the scenes).

    The hardware isn't final yet, so I can understand Microsoft wanting to have folks run on dev hardware until then. It is getting a bit close to not be running on actual units, but then again I don't have a lot of experience with console development so I don't know for sure what's out of the ordinary.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    LanceVance

    The operators of numerous demos informed me of all of the visual features that had to be turned off or down because of the slower-than-360 GPU in the systems.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • ksherman - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    "all of Microsoft's Xbox 360 kiosks were running G5 systems"

    --LMFAO!!!
    Reply
  • Son of a N00b - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    #5, what you said can only be speculated on, and could or could not be true(granted i am not a console guy) but i am sure Anand also thought about these things, and left it out to get the article up...id rather just see the pics and facts...ill save any other deducting for myself...

    anyways i find that a bit low of MS to not even be running their actual 360's for the demo's...you would think though that they would be able to at thsi stage becuase they are SUPPOSED to be out by the end of this year, which is probably true becuase they want their christmas sales, so it must be for other reasons...can you shed any light on this and current dev xbox 306 systems anand?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    Dev Kits - especially in advance of the actual platform release! - are almost always slower. MS, Sony, Nintendo... it doesn't matter; they do NOT want to build a supposedly "next gen" console with old technology. However, they also need games at launch.

    So MS or whoever tells the devs that the final product will be at least 2X or 3X as powerful as the early Dev Kit and games are developed around that spec. As launch date nears, you can pretty much guarantee that the game developers are going to get early *real* hardware to verify performance and functionality.
    Reply
  • LanceVance - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    "Because the G5 systems can only use a GeForce 6800 Ultra or an ATI Radeon X800 XT, developers had to significantly reduce the image quality of their demos"

    That sounds like naive and inaccurate consumer speculation.

    Sure, when you buy an off the shelf G5 as a regular consumer those may be your only high-end options, but despite it looking like a plain G5 enclosure from a distance it's highly likely Microsoft and ATI are using custom hardware on those things. Believe it or not, these guys do have access to graphics cards that you can't buy at a Best Buy or an Apple Store. I guarantee you that those G5 enclosures are running lots of custom software; I would speculate that they aren't running Mac OS at all.

    It's also likely that those dev kits in G5 enclosures simulate what is expected to be the final hardware (or something close) and the final console units don't even exist yet. Those xbox 360's on display are probably just empty enclosures.

    I expect more from AnandTech; that sounds like a comment from a naive consumer who has had no industry exposure and never used or seen a dev kit.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    The G5 has been the dev kit for the Xbox360 from the start. PowerPC core in the 360, rememba'? Im not surprised at all to see the games running on a dev machine, although its kinda ghey of MS to put non working 360's in a window to make it look like your playing with them (although, as noted, they werent lit up and the G5's werent really hidden) Reply
  • Denial - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    err... x86. :) Reply
  • Denial - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    It's obvious that Mac's are the supperior gaming platfom and it's because of Microsoft's pressure on game developers that we've all been gaming on sub-poar i386 systems all these years. Reply

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